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Farmers market, summer sales Aug. 8

Gettysburg merchants and locals with a “green thumb” are getting set to celebrate the harvest on Saturday, Aug. 8 with store sales and a farmers market.
Anyone who would like to participate in a farmers market is invited to set up a stand at the bank parking lot downtown that morning. There is no fee to participate, and the farmers market will run from 9 a.m. to noon, or later if the folks selling stuff want to stick around!
Also on that Saturday, some of the area’s retailers are planning sales to clear out summer inventory to make way for the fall season. It will be a great opportunity for shoppers to pick up some bargains on lots of items from one end of town to the other!
If you have a great garden this year, the farmers market is a good time to sell some of the produce. If you don’t have anything from the garden to sell, maybe set up a stand with something else, like arts or crafts! Watch next week’s edition of the News for more details!

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James Thomas

Photo G15-17 (James Thomas)James Thomas, 92, of Gettysburg died Friday, July 17, 2015 at the Avera Oahe Manor, Gettysburg, surrounded by his family.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, July 21 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Gettysburg with Fr. Jerry Kopel officiating. Burial followed in the Gettysburg Cemetery.
James Richard Thomas was born to Jacob Edgar and Martha (Reinschmidt) Thomas at Wichita, Kansas on Oct. 30, 1922.  He was the oldest of eight children; five boys and three girls.  The family lived in Kansas until the crash took place in the 1930s.  They then moved to South Dakota to the North Riverside Township, in the northwest corner of Potter County.  They moved in with Martha’s parents, the Reinschmidts.  By spring they were in their own home and at that time had four boys.   Eventually three girls and one more boy would grace the family.
James attended and graduated from Fayette Country School and Gettysburg High School. After high school, he worked for farmers doing custom work.  In September of 1946, several people around Gettysburg were interested in starting a flying club, which they did and James was one of the members.  He started his flight instructions.
James met and married Elaine Kula in December of 1946. Since jobs were scarce they spent the next five or six winters in California.  James attended the LA Business School, Los Angeles, California, and then worked as a manager at the Trifty Drug Store.  Their first child born there was a daughter, Linda Elaine, followed by son Daniel James, daughter Sandra Mary, son Robert Allen and daughter Rhonda Jean.
After spending winters in California, James and Elaine decided to become full time South Dakota residents and invested in his love of raising crops and livestock.
In 1970, James started to fly again.  At this time he received his pilot’s license at Ice Flying Service, Pierre, SD.  Once receiving his license he purchased his own 235 Piper Cherokee and hanger.  His love of flying allowed him to do so not only for pleasure but for business.  Some of the trips took them to Canada, Texas, Kansas, and various spots in South Dakota.
As James’ boys got older they became involved in the family farming operation which allowed them to expand into custom harvesting, taking them as far as Texas for 11 years.  They still farm and ranch on the original farm, which was acquired in 1946.  Along with farming they had a cattle operation with both Black Angus and Red Angus.  The Farming Operation is now in its third generation.   James was still active in the family operation.
James and Elaine moved into Gettysburg Oahe Villas October, 2014. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Gettysburg and a Knights of Columbus Honorary Member. James served as a Gettysburg School Board member, was director of Federal Land Bank, and a director of Potter County Grain.
Family was very important to James and he enjoyed numerous activities with them such as hunting, fishing, water skiing, snow skiing, and trail rides.  He was also active in square dancing and bowling.  Other hobbies James enjoyed were wood working and gardening.
James’ life will be cherished by his wife of 68 years, Elaine Thomas; his children: Linda Vail, Gettysburg, Daniel (Bev) Thomas, Gettysburg, Sandra (Jay) Hagen, Rapid City, Robert (Carmen) Thomas, Gettysburg, and Rhonda (Dale) Schmautz, Belle Fourche; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one brother, Joe Thomas, Dayton, Ohio; one sister, Shirley (David) Hill, San Bernardino, California; and brothers-in-law: James Crandall, Rapid City and Chuck Kula, McKinney, Texas.
James was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters: Mary Crandall and Joann Lovgren: brothers: Jacob, George and Donald; half siblings: Helen (Charlie) Gilham, Ruth (Ralph) Gillette, Archie Thomas, Pearl (Henry) Alphin and Ralph Thomas, son-in-law, Dana Vail; sisters-in-law: Phyllis Thomas, Dorothy Thomas, Phyllis Brown and Inez Kula; and brothers-in-law: Larry Lovgren and Wayne Brown.
Thank you for the care given to James while in the Gettysburg Memorial Hospital and the Avera Oahe Manor.
Memorials have been established with Sacred Heart Church Building Fund and Gettysburg Volunteer Fire Department.
Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with James’ arrangements. (

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David L. Schmidt

David “Dave” L. Schmidt, age 72, died July 14, 2015 at the Royal C. Johnson V.A. Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Funeral services were held July 18 at George Boom Funeral Chapel in Brandon.
David Larry Schmidt was born on Sept. 29, 1942 in Aberdeen, SD to Anton “Tony” and Theresa (Deis) Schmidt. He graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1960.
Dave enlisted into the United States Army in July of 1960 and honorably served until 1963. Dave returned to Aberdeen and graduated from Northern State College in 1968. He married Eva “Charlene” Fields on Sept. 5, 1964 in Aberdeen, SD.
They moved to Kansas City, MO where Dave worked as a manager of Grain Equipment and Supplies for Farmland Industries and Behlen Manufacturing, then later owned an appliance repair business, Good Day Services.
He is survived by his wife, Eva Charlene Schmidt of Brandon, SD; three children: Camille Lewis and her husband, Adam of Hartford, SD, Mark Schmidt and his wife, Cindy of Gettysburg, SD, and Paul Schmidt of Brandon, SD; four grandchildren; three siblings: Ronald Schmidt and his wife, Bernadette of Aberdeen, SD, Janet Schile and her husband, Lawrence of Wetonka, SD, and Charles Schmidt and his wife, Sandra of Benton, AR.
Dave is preceded in death by his parents.

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Phyllis Flemmer

Phyllis Flemmer, 81, of Rapid City and formerly of Gettysburg, died Sept. 1, 2014 at Rapid City Regional Hospital from pneumonia.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 25 at Luce Funeral Home, Gettysburg with Pastor Jeff Adel presiding. Burial will follow in the Gettysburg Cemetery.
Phyllis Winters was born July 15, 1933 in Gettysburg to Josiah and Mildred (Bauer) Winters. She later changed her name to Phyllis Vetter after her mother married Albert Vetter. Phyllis graduated from Gettysburg High School in 1951. She attended the University of South Dakota briefly before returning to Gettysburg.
Phyllis was united in marriage to Herb Flemmer on Dec. 26, 1951.
Phyllis was Gettysburg’s City Finance Officer for over 23 years. She moved to Rapid City after Herb’s death.
Surviving her is her son, Don and granddaughter, Erin of Rapid City; sister, Norma Marks of Gettysburg.
She was preceded in death by her father; mother; stepfather; grandson, Michael Steffen; and husband.
Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with Phyllis’ arrangements.

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Board of Education held regular meeting July 13

June 2015 Finance Report

June 2015 Finance Report

July 13, 2015
The Gettysburg Board of Education held their regular meeting on the above date in the conference room.  Present were Matt Cronin (via telephone), Brian Robbennolt, Kevin Geditz, Paul Kellogg.  Absent: Kenny Goebel, Mark Schatz and Kim Schweiss.  Also present were Barb Everson and Tim Hagedorn.
The meeting opened at 7:00 PM with a Pledge of Allegiance.
The first item of business was a public hearing on the Proposed Budget for the 2015-2016 school year.  The board reviewed and discussed the proposed budget.
Board President Cronin called the meeting to order at 7:25 PM.  Motion by Kellogg, second by Geditz to approve the agenda with the following changes:  add Youth Center and Budget Supplements and delete approve contracts. All present voted aye. Motion carried.
Motion by Robbennolt, second by Kellogg to approve the following consent agenda:  approve the minutes of the June 15, 2015 regular board meeting and the June 22, 2015 special board meeting; approve the financial reports; approve the 6-30-15 claims and approve obsolete items.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.  The list of obsolete items is on file in the business office.
AVERA OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE, $61.40, Random Drug testing, bus driver; B&R TRUCK REPAIR, LLC, 2,353.97, Big yellow bus repairs; BMS, INC., 22.50, Straighten appliance cart; BURG’S GAS & ETC., INC., THE, 283.83, School vehicle fuel; CITY OF GETTYSBURG, 4,191.20, Water (2 months plus);
DAKOTA FARM & RANCH SUPPLY, 59.48, Bus supplies; ELAN FINANCIAL SERVICES, 118.50, Envelopes; ELITE BUSINESS SYSTEMS INC., 224.12, Savin copier printer supplies; FOREMAN SALES & SERVICE, 202.68, Bus inspection check/rpr;
G’BURG SCHOOL/DISTRICT REFD  1,144.78, T&A Fund 758.00, Transfer for Perkins Exp., Keith Scott, 27.70, Reimb fuel, Warren Wilson, 18.00, Reimb gas, SD School District Fund, 16.00, Basic Life, Post Office, 294.00, Postage, Keith Scott, 31.08, Reimb gas;
GAS’N GOODIES, 827.77, School vehicle gas; GOLDEN WEST TECHNOLOGIES, 24 265.00, Student laptops (part)/server maint; HARMON LAW OFFICE PROF. LLC, 90.00, Legal svcs; HAUFF MID-AMERICA SPORTS, 117.90, Basketballs; HEARTLAND WASTE MANAGEMENT INC, 480.00, May/June services; HOVEN MEDIA, INC., 24.08, Advertising;
MID CENTRAL EDUCATIONAL COOP, 260.00, Online course (student pay); MID-AMERICAN RESEARCH CHEM COR, 815.71, Custodial supplies; MONTANA DAKOTA UTILITIES, 2,853.86, Electricity/natural gas; O’CONNOR COMPANY, 431.04, Filters for air control; PETTY CASH, 14.56, Postage; POTTER COUNTY NEWS, 267.80, Printing;
RED RIVER GRAIN CO., 37.10, Herbicide; SCHLACHTER LUMBER, 210.85, Custodial supplies; SCHUR, CPA, RONALD L., 9,200.00, FY 14 audit services; SERVALL UNIFORM/LINEN COMPANY, 105.24, June services; STANDARD & POOR’S, 120.00, Annual maintenance fee; SUPER 8 MOTEL, 58.88, HS Honor band lodging;
TRAINING ROOM INC, 1,512.44, AD supplies; TRUE VALUE HARDWARE, 92.65, Custodial supplies; ZUBER REFRIGERATION & HEATING, 193.75, Custodial supplies.
ELITE BUSINESS SYSTEMS INC., $326.14, Savin/Copier Printer leases; GOLDEN WEST TECHNOLOGIES, 15,000.00, HS laptops–partial; OLIVER & ANDY’S BOOK COMPANY, 964.64, Library books; SHARPE ENTERPRISES, INC., 192,220.07, Construction costs to 6-30-15.
AVERA GETTYSBURG HOSPITAL, $1,155.00, OT/PT services May/June.
GETTYSBURG SCHOOL DISTRCT RFD $150.00, Trisha Jost, 50.00, Reimb overpayment, Janelle Wheeler, 50.00, Reimb overpayment, Michelle Storkson, 50.00, Reimb overpayment.
GENERAL FUND, $110,143.63, Salaries/Ins/Retirement; SPED FUND, 18,415.40, Salaries/Ins/Retirement; FOOD SERVICE, 5,257.39, Salaries/Ins/Retirement; DRIVERS ED, 202.18, Salaries/Ins/Retirement.
Motion by Robbennolt, second by Geditz to approve the 2013-2014 Audit Report and the 2014-15 Letter of Engagement from Ron Schur, CPA.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
Motion by Kellogg, second by Robbennolt to approve the Consolidated App/IDEA flow-through funds application.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
Mr. Hagedorn reported on the Boiler Maintenance Agreement/HVAC Agreement with G&R Controls.  Motion by Geditz, second by Kellogg to sign the Boiler Maintenance Agreement for $1,958.00 effective August 1, 2015 and to him sign the HVAC agreement for $5,986.00, effective in April 2016.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
Business Manager Everson reported that CBM Managed Services took over the lunch program effective July 1, 2015.
Motion by Robbennolt, second by Geditz to approve the following Budget Supplements:
Capitol Outlay
21-2535-520  Buildings     $442,144.77
Means of Finance –
Reserves –     442,144.77
24-2321-220      2,000.00
24-2529-220      3,500.00
24-2549-220        500.00
Means of Finance –
Reserves      6,000.00
Impact Aid
27-8110-690     3,897.68
Means of Finance –
2015 Revenue      3,897.68
Bond Redemption Fund
32-5000-612     341,887.50
Means of Finance –
Taxes Received       341,887.50
Capital Projects Fund
42-2535-520      3,279,917.80
Means of Finance –
Bond Receipts      3,279,917.80
Dr. Ed/Afterschool
53-1132-334       2,669.50
53-1132-110-001      1,178.22
Means of Finance –
Reserves     3,847.72
51-2569-110      3,748.18
51-2569-479      1,164.58
Means of Finance –
Reserves      4,912.76
All present voted aye. Motion carried.
The Youth Center rent and future usage were discussed.  Mr. Hagedorn will discuss this with Youth Center President Shawn Donovan.
Motion by Robbennolt, second by Geditz to adjourn as the 2014-15 Board of Education at 7:50 PM.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
July 13, 2015
The 2015-2016 Board of Education was called to order at 7:50 PM by Superintendent Tim Hagedorn.  The first item of business was giving the oath of office to board member Brian Robbennolt for his 3 year term.
Superintendent Hagedorn then called for nominations for school board president.  Brian Robbennolt nominated Matt Cronin.  Paul Kellogg seconded the motion.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.  Kevin Geditz moved that nominations cease.  Paul Kellogg seconded the motion.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.  Matt Cronin is the school board president.
Board President Cronin called for nominations for board vice president.  Kevin Geditz nominated Brian Robbennolt.  Paul Kellogg seconded the motion.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.  Paul Kellogg moved that nominations cease.  Kevin Geditz seconded the motion.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.  Brian Robbennolt is the school board vice-president.
Motion by Kellogg, second by Geditz to approve the agenda.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
Motion by Geditz, second by Robbennolt to approve the following Consent Agenda.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
a. July 13, 2015 CLAIMS
ASSOCIATED SCHOOL BOARDS, $853.40, Dues; BW INSURANCE AGENCY INC, 28,858.00, Insurance Package; CNA SURETY 105.00, Business Manager Bond; GOLDEN WEST TECHNOLOGIES, 300.00, Wireless support renewal; IMPACT APPLICATIONS, INC., 400.00, Concussion software renewal; OAHE AREA YOUTH CENTER, 1,500.00, July-Sept rent; RELIANCE COMMUNICATIONS, LLC, 585.00, School Messenger;
RENAISSANCE LEARNING, INC, 3,245.50, Lib/Accel Reader/Star renewals; SDRS, 683.31, Retirement – rpl ck; SHI INTERNATIONAL CORP, 3,071.54, Software licenses (windows); SOFTWARE UNLIMITED, INC, 3,800.00, Fiscal annual software; TECHNOLOGY/INNOVATIONS IN EDUC, 840.00, 15-16 Membership dues; WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FUND, 13,311.31, Worker’s Comp insurance.
WORDWARE, INC., $1,407.00, Lunch software annual support fee.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FUND, $964.40, Worker’s Comp insurance.
SDRS, $46.98, Retirement – rpl ck; WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FUND, 479.29, Worker’s Comp insurance.
b. Appoint Business Manager Barb Everson as Secretary to the Board.
c. Designate Bank of the West and Great Western Bank as Official Depositories
d. Name Potter County News as the official newspaper.
e. Set 7:30 PM in the Conference Room on the 2nd Monday of the month as the time and place for school board meetings.  The Board affirms their authority to reschedule a regular meeting or call a special meeting.
f. Set compensation for board members at $0.  Mileage will be paid to a board member attending meetings related to school meetings.  Board members attending overnight meetings will be reimbursed meals and lodging.
g. Adopt the board policy manual.
h. Appoint Mr. Hagedorn as Administrator for Lunch fund, Title/REAP Programs, FSA programs, 504 Administrator, and Attendance officer.
i. Appoint Bradley Cihak and Wendy Smith to sign FSA documents.
July 2015-5
j. Appoint Business Manager Everson as the administrator of the Trust and Agency Fund.
k. Authorize Business Manager Everson to borrow among funds, if necessary for cash flow; also pay bills between board meetings to obtain discounts, avoid penalties and pay athletic officials.  Also approve $5000.00 to be kept in the Imprest Fund in the Trust & Agency account to pay bills between board meetings.
Committees will be appointed as necessary.  The construction committee shall remain the same with the same authority.
The construction project was discussed.  The scoreboards are hung up.  The playground area and fence were discussed.  The parking lot/re-striping was discussed.  Delays were discussed.
Motion by Robbennolt, second by Geditz to publish the personnel salaries for the 2015-16 school year.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
Administration:  Tim Hagedorn – $71,701.39, Wendy Smith – 56,890.62 Activity 501.38, Barbara Everson – 41,840.04.
Certified Staff: Alexandra Alspach – $33,425.28, Penelope Baus – 42,238.23, Jay Berglund – 34,319.84, Concessions 3,088.79, Cristina Bieber – 36,380.49, Bradley Cihak – 33,425.28, Summer 11,910.16, Activity 6,517.93, Jamie Cronin – 39,546.58, Activity 5,734.26, Valerie Dahlquist – 33,675.28, Kim Goebel – 36,775.91, Activity 1,103.28, Tricia Heien – 33,725.28, April Hobert – 37,710.00, SPED director 11,491.21, Catherine Larson – 36,982,24, Activity 92.45, Jessica Larson – 33,652.28, Activity 2,350.88, Kathryn Larson – 36,594.15, Caylee Lolley – 33,425.28, Activity 3,676.77, Amber Mikkelsen – 35,775.28, Activity 3,219.78, Mary Quiett – 38,291.04, Adam Roberts – 33,425.28, Activity 2,841.15, Christine Saltsman – 34,260.19, Activity 92.45, Keith Scott – 37,795.02, Summer 9,019.27 Activity 5,102.33, Sally Simon – 35,725.58, Vernon Smith – 37,171.62, AD 7,687.81, Activity 6,876.75, Patricia Stoner – 39,716.86, Andrew Tuttle – 33,425.28, Julie Williams – 41,840.40, Sara Wuttke – 38,971.33.
Non-Certified: Jamie Ahlemeier – $10.05/hr, April Bowden – 10.00/hr, Jolinda Brown – 10.00/hr, Josh Cordell – 11.60/hr, 17.40/hr OT, Don Frost – 16.10/hr, 24.15 OT, Taylor Frost – 8.50/hr, Amy Hartung – 10.78/hr Route Driver, 11.20/hr Activity Driver, 8.50/hr layover, Jason Johnson – 13.00/hr, 19.50/hr OT, Marilyn Scott – 10.15/hr, 10.78/hr Route Driver, 11.20/hr Activity Driver, 8.50/hr layover, Aaron Smith – 8.50/hr, Luke Smith – 8.50/hr, Nancy Smith – 12.24/hr, Keith Scott – 10.78/hr Route Driver, 11.20/hr Activity Driver, 8.50/hr layover, Michelle Storkson – 10.00/hr, Gage Weller – 8.50/hr, Delores Wickersham – 10.40/hr, Warren Wilson – 11.20/hr Activity Driver, 8.50/hr layover.
Motion by Kellogg, second by Robbennolt to approve the following prices:
Lunch – Adults $3.75, JH/HS $3.25, Elem $2.75
Breakfast – Adults $1.75, Students $1.25
The Board and students will share equally the cost of an entrée second, if CBM Management company approves this.
Athletic Events – $3.00 Students, $5.00 Adults
Football Parking – $25.00 per season, includes playoff games
Activity Tickets – Grades 1-6 $10.00, 7-12 $20.00, Adults $30.00
Golden Battler Card – free to 65 years and older
Substitute Teachers – $90.00 current certification, $80.00 lapsed certification, $70.00 no certification
All present voted aye. Motion carried.
No State Convention Delegate was appointed.  Barb will send an email out to board members not here to see if they are available for the convention.
Motion by Robbennolt, second by Geditz to approve the state rates for mileage 42 cents/mile and 23 cents per mile if you take your own vehicle and the new state rates for meals – breakfast $6.00, Lunch $11.00 and supper $15.00.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
Fuel bids were discussed.  Letters were sent to Gas & Goodies and The Burg.  Gas & Goodies will give us 3 cents off of pump price. Motion by Robbennolt to get gas and diesel at Gas & Goodies unless Gas & Goodies doesn’t have the required fuel.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
Logan Electric will have the electrical rotation this year.
Mr. Hagedorn reported on bus inspections and repairs.  The minivan was totaled out.  An insurance check was received and the school is selling the salvaged vehicle to Darrin Simon for $500.00.  Mr. Hagedorn will research what type of vehicle to purchase and report back to the school board.  Jason Johnson was just hired as the new janitor.
Motion by Geditz, second by Kellogg to adjourn the meeting at 8:57 PM.  All present voted aye.  Motion carried.
Mathew Cronin, Board President
Barbara Everson, Business Manager
Published once at the total approximate cost of $345.32

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Simon notice to creditors of deceased settlor

Notice is given that on October 20, 2014, Morris E. Simon died, who was the Settlor of the Morris & Colleen Simon Living Trust, dated April 2, 2012, and any amendments thereto. Patrick J. Simon, whose address is 16050 Pine St., Lebanon, SD 57455, is the current Trustee of the Morris & Colleen Simon Living Trust, dated April 2, 2012, and any amendments thereto.
Creditors of the deceased Settlor must file their claims within four (4) months after the date of the first publication of this Notice or any claim or collection efforts which otherwise could have been asserted or enforced against the trust or assets thereof may be barred.
Claims may be submitted to the Trustee by mailing a written statement of the claim to the Trustee at the address above.
Dated this 14th day of July, 2015.

/s/ Patrick J. Simon
16050 Pine St.
Lebanon, SD 57455

Thompson Law, P.C.
5027 S. Western Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(605) 362-9100
Published three times at the total approximate cost of $39.20

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Truck accident…

logan fire IMG_1679No one was injured in a truck accident that happened on the west side of the Missouri River bridge last week. Gettysburg firefighters were call out on the afternoon of July 9 when a truck belonging to Logan Electric Construction of Gettysburg went into the ditch and caught fire. The vehicle was driven by Roy Combellick, who was headed west on US 212 when the semi went into the ditch and ripped out about 1,000 feet of fence line. The semi was destroyed along with the equipment that was being hauled on the trailer. The loss is estimated in the $175,000 range. This photo is looking at the fire from the road, with what’s left of the cab of the semi in flames on the left.

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Ambulance granted hardship exemption

Out of the 120 ambulance services in the state, 30 are operating on hardship exemptions.
Gettysburg’s ambulance service is now on that list.
It is important for the community to understand the severity of the situation that is needed to allow for the hardship exemption. Before that was granted, the ambulance could only respond to a call if two EMTs were on board.
With only a few active members of the ambulance service, this could not always happen.
The exemption allows someone other than an EMT to drive the ambulance. The firefighters have all been trained in the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC).
While it is an option that will only be used if there is just one EMT available, is that what the community really wants?
“We won’t run without two EMTs unless we have to,” said Beth Hamburger, director of the Gettysburg Ambulance Service. “In some cases, it is important to have at least two EMTs.”
Generally it takes a staff of 14 EMTs to cover two ambulances in order to rotate and schedule for a community the size of Gettysburg.
With so few active EMTs on the Gettysburg ambulance service, there are no set schedules for being on call. The service responds to around 120 calls per year, with many of those being transfer calls.
Compare this with the over 30 volunteer firefighters in Gettysburg.
Is is projected that by the year’s end, about 40 percent of the rural ambulance systems that depend on volunteers will need a hardship exemption.
The question faced by rural ambulance services is simple. How do they get EMTs and how do they keep them?
There are six people who are currently taking the EMT course in Gettysburg and will be testing this month. However, due to job commitments, not all of them will be available to respond to calls during the day.
Another problem faced by the limited ambulance staff is the long distance transfers. More ambulance transfers to Sioux Falls are being required, which leaves the community short two EMTs and an ambulance for up to 12 hours.
“We’re not the only community in this boat,” said Hamburger, “but I am afraid we are going to burn out.”
Hamburger said that the ambulance services were started for rural areas because of so many highway accidents and injuries that took place in rural settings. Now those are the areas that are showing the most need and are losing ambulance services. Two communities lost their ambulance service last year due to last of staff.
Hamburger said one of the problems that several communities face is getting younger people to volunteer and keeping them.  There seems to be a question of “what do I gain from it?”
She stressed that isn’t the case with the current class in Gettysburg. “The six people we have taking the EMT course now are dedicated and are approaching it with the attitude that they want to give something back to the community.”
Although the EMTs are paid when they do runs, they are on call as volunteers. During a five day period recently they were called out seven times. If the community had to pay to have two skilled EMTs on staff to operate one ambulance, it is estimated the cost would be over $414,000 a year.
Hamburger said that she understands not everyone can be an EMT, just as not everyone can be a firefighter. She has had people talk about fears they associate with the ambulance service, such as a fear of blood. She said that blood is rarely seen, and in her 11 years on the ambulance service, she has encountered only three calls involving a significant amount of blood.
The EMT course now offers online classes that can be done which offers some more flexible hours for those interested in becoming an ambulance volunteer. The course takes a commitment, requiring 180 hours to complete, but she said there are ways to work with the EMTs. More EMTs would mean a less frequent schedule rotation, and less time required from the volunteers.
The community wants an ambulance service, but many are not aware of what is necessary to keep it running. A community meeting was held to discuss the hardship exemption, which was attended by only three community members in addition to three EMTs.
While most understand the importance of a local ambulance service, the community needs to find a way to get people to become EMTs before the service is lost.
In the meantime, the hardship exemption will be valid for one year. Gettysburg has joined the list of several small communities that have been approved for the exemption to assist in keeping the ambulance services running in their communities.
A community meeting will be held this fall to get more input on the ambulance situation.
-Molly McRoberts

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Moonlight golf tourney July 31

The ninth annual Moonlight Golf Tournament is planned for Friday, July 31 at the Gettysburg Country Club.
This year’s event will raise funds to be donated to the newly created, non-profit organization, “Keep Hope Local, Inc.” which puts all donations local to assist people in need throughout the community and neighboring area.
The event is organized in honor of Dick “Papa” Shutter who died from cancer on Aug. 14, 2006. His daughter, Stacy Larson, and his wife, Sandi Shutter, worked to organize the cancer tournament in his honor.
The evening starts with a social hour at 5 p.m. followed by a brat feed along with a bean bag tournament at 6 p.m.
Raffles and door prizes will be part of the evening along with a  “decorate your cart and yourself” contest in addition to a silent auction. Anyone wishing to donate items to the silent auction should contact Larson at 769-1492.
This year floating luminaries will be part of the event. The luminaries are lighted and released into the sky like balloons, and each will be marked in honor of someone who has survived or is fighting cancer, or in memory of those who lost the fight. The luminaries are available for purchase at Great Western Bank, Bank of the West, 212 Mini Mall, and the Potter County News.  They will be released throughout the night during the tournament, weather permitting. A limited number of luminaries are available, so place your order soon.
Everyone is invited to take part in a fun night planned to help fight a terrible disease. Tournament golfing starts at 9 p.m. with registration taking place until 8:30 p.m. Bring your own team for the four person scramble. There is a fee to participate in the tourney.
All proceeds from the event will be used locally to help fight cancer.
For more information contact the Gettysburg Country Club at 765-2656.
-Molly McRoberts

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Pet Clinic July 21

The city is sponsoring the annual pet registration and vaccination clinic on Tuesday, July 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Potter County Fairgrounds on the east side of Gettysburg.
A veterinarian will be on hand to give rabies and distemper shots for a small fee to pet owners.
No appointment is needed, so bring your pet and stop by the fairgrounds.

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